June 14, 2014
Five trained members of the Louisiana Bucket Brigade Emergency Response Team deployed to St. Rose from 2 to 7 pm yesterday. The area surveyed was the Preston Hollow sub division and the streets sandwiched between the east side of IMTT and Preston Hollow. The Team interviewed 116 residents about the impacts of the chemical smell.
The Louisiana Bucket Brigade (LABB) has been responding to petrochemical emergencies in Louisiana since 2000. Over 100 reports were filed from St. Rose to the LABB’s on line pollution reporting tool, the iWitness Pollution Map.
The results of the survey are as follows.
99% of people surveyed smelled the odor
84% (97 people) had health effects
43% (49 people) had nausea
38% (44 people) complained of headaches
34% (39 people) complained of respiratory issues
47% (54 people) experienced a mental health / emotional response
12% (13 people) were afraid
9% (10 people) were confused
9% (10 people) felt anxious
Numerous people commented that their pets were also visibly affected by the chemical odors.
Excerpts from the iWitness Pollution Map are as follows:
“Bad smell, skunky pollution, on 4th Street in St. Rose. Lightheaded, dizzy. Feel like I might faint.”
“I'm in St. Rose 470 4th Street. Some terrible odors. I'd say about a week now. Nauseous, I have been having a stomach ache.”
“Oh yeah the health effects, yeah, we be having stomach aches, you know sinus effects, my niece has been throwing up, headaches, asthma. All kinda things have been going on.”
The Emergency Response Team (ERT) knocked on 223 doors, talked with 120 people and conducted the health symptom survey with 116 people.
The ERT consists of trained personnel who go door-to-door after fires or explosions at petrochemical plants. The team conducts health symptom surveys using the methodology of Dr. Marvin LeGator (University of Texas). The symptom survey is designed to investigate if residents exposed to spikes in air pollution during petrochemical accidents show symptoms of that exposure.
The survey design uses a criterion, non-probability, convenience survey design.  Locations for door-to-door health surveys are chosen by proximity of community to petrochemical accidents (within 2 miles) and the wind direction at the date and time of the accident as documented by meteorological data. The sample frame is downwind from the accident within 2-mile radius from the facility responsible for the petrochemical accident. Eligibility or screening requirements are that the community must be downwind of the accident, within a two-mile radius of the responsible facility and home when an LABB ERT member knocks on the door. https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/images/cleardot.gif